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Milan's champion mentality frustrates Barcelona

FC Barcelona keeper Víctor Valdés admitted "you can never, ever write off" AC Milan after Thiago Silva's added-time strike earned the Italian side an impressive 2-2 draw at Camp Nou.

Thiago Silva (right) of AC Milan celebrates with Ignazio Abate after scoring Milan's equaliser
Thiago Silva (right) of AC Milan celebrates with Ignazio Abate after scoring Milan's equaliser ©Getty Images

FC Barcelona goalkeeper Víctor Valdés paid tribute to AC Milan's never-say-die attitude after the Rossoneri earned a valuable Group H point at the Camp Nou. A streetwise performance brought reward thanks to the fastest goal in matchday one history, converted by Pato, and a powerful late headed equaliser from Thiago Silva. It dealt a sore blow to Barcelona, who had overcome their initial shock with terrific strikes either side of the break from Pedro Rodríguez and David Villa. With Lionel Messi effervescent the points looked there for the taking – Milan had other ideas.

Víctor Valdés, Barcelona goalkeeper
There was cause for optimism. In general we played well, dominated possession for large parts of the game. Milan had very few chances. In fact, I reckon they scored from the only two they had: credit to them for being ready to take advantage when those opportunities arose.

The key thing is to study the goals we let in and ensure they don't happen again. However, I think they were specific, isolated incidents, nothing more. When the scoreline is tight, like 2-1, these things can happen. And Milan have that champion mentality. You can never, ever write them off. Wherever they go, in whatever circumstance, they try to win. They are one of the great European sides and they already had our maximum respect.

Tonight, football wasn't on our side. We've got a draw that leaves us very disappointed but we must lift ourselves as the competition has only just begun. Milan set themselves up very well out on the pitch and played in a direct manner in the second half. When the result is one which you don't expect, all you can do is to learn, especially if you have conceded from a set piece.

Xavi Hernández, Barcelona captain
We played well but we must look to be more intense in key moments and finish off games. Football is like that; it seems unfair at times. It's a real pity [that we failed to gain three points] but we have to go on now and win as soon as possible – on Saturday [against CA Osasuna] in fact.

Mark van Bommel, Milan midfielder
The key was that we didn't lose concentration. We could not give up. If you give up against this Barça team you will certainly concede three, four or even five goals. I think that was the most important thing for us to get this result.

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